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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Nintendo Switch remakes of "Pokémon Diamond" and "Pearl," classics first released in 2006, will come out on Nov. 19.

The big picture: As much as the video game industry and its culture focus on the novelty of new releases, 2021 is shaping up to be a showcase for the appeal of the old.

  • "Pokémon Brilliant Diamond" and "Pokémon Shining Pearl" will claim yet another spot on the release calendar for new versions of games millions of people have already played.
  • Production delays due to COVID, tied with the ever-increasing difficulty of making new games is resulting in more visibility for remakes, remasters, and other recycled efforts.

Game publishers have mined their back catalog for decades. The abundance of reissues and their rising prominence in 2021 is what's startling.

  • The "Pokémon" releases will come just a week after Rockstar starts selling an "expanded and enhanced" version of 2013's "Grand Theft Auto V," a game that has already shipped 145 million copies.

Between the lines: May 2021 has been rife with reissues and the many reasons for them:

  • May 14: EA's "Mass Effect Legendary Edition," a chart-topping remaster of a trio of sci-fi games from a decade ago, is an attempted franchise revival.
  • May 18: Sony's release of its formerly PlayStation-exclusive "Days Gone" to PC continued the trend of Microsoft and Sony expanding their audience by putting their games on previously verboten platforms.
  • May 21: Nintendo's Switch release of 2017 Nintendo 3DS game "Miitopia" hit in the midst of an extraordinarily successful company effort to re-sell games, some of which floundered on older platforms, on its ubiquitous newer machine.

Don't forget the new consoles. Publishers see a chance to shine up recent games and try to sell them again on the new generation of consoles.

  • See “GTA,” but also next month’s expanded version of 2020’s “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” which was itself already a radical remake of a classic game.  

Older games also help add value to expanding catalogue services, most prominently Xbox Game Pass, which keeps showcasing the acquisition of classic content--a range of beloved “Final Fantasy” games, a whole series of “Yakuza” titles, etc.

The bottom line: As much as some fans crave new games, all of these reissues are arguably a healthy development.

  • Reissues defy the old currents that would cause most games, even the biggest, to largely exit the public eye within a year or two after release.

Go deeper

The Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco is making baseball history already

Wander Franco hits a two-run single in the eighth against the Red Sox at the Trop on Monday. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

In his debut season, Wander Franco is on pace to break records set by baseball greats like Ted Williams and Ken Griffey Jr., DRays Bay reports.

  • Franco has reached base in 48 of his first 53 games as a big leaguer. He’s one of just two players under 21 to reach base in that many games over his first 53 games — Willie Mays was the other.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

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